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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 204-211

Superantigens - Concepts, clinical disease and therapy

Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Porur, Chennai - 600 116, India

Correspondence Address:
P Srikanth
Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Porur, Chennai - 600 116
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17642740

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The term superantigen was introduced in microbiology and immunology only a decade ago. The unique feature of superantigen is that it bypasses the antigen processing mechanism and specifically binds to TCR v segment and forms a trimolecular complex along with major histocompatibility complex class II. Since its discovery, several studies have been carried out to unravel the properties of superantigens. They are implicated in the pathogenesis of diseases of bacterial, viral and fungal origin. They are also known to play a role in autoimmune diseases. Therapy for these superantigens is being worked upon. Studies have shown that intravenous gamma globulin containing specific antibodies to these superantigens inhibits the activation of T-Cells and also the cytokine production by them resulting in dramatic recovery from superantigen mediated diseases. The use of superantigen in the therapy of cancer is being explored.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04